Chapter 9: Public opinion and persuasion

April 28, 2009 at 1:40 pm (chapter summaries)

       In chapter 9,3110,0205626130,00.html the book discusses public opinion of public relations and the power of persuasion. It can be difficult to measure public opinion. An opinion a lot of the time has to do with an individuals self interest. The primary catalyst is public discussion. The people who are the catalystsare referred to as opinion leaders. There are two types of these leaders. There are formal opinion leaders and informal opinion leaders. It is the job of these leaders to make sure the opinion makes it to the public, often through mass media.

      Persuasion is another important factor. It can be used to change or neutralize the public’s opinion. It can have an influence that can change the opinion of the people. The factors of persuasion are:

  • audience analysis
  • source credibility
  • appeal to self-interest
  • message clarity
  • timing and context
  • audience participation
  • suggestions for action
  • content and structures of messages
  • persuasive speaking

      However, it is important to remember ethics when it comes to persuasion. There are two reasons for using an ethical approach. If you don’t the public will become suspicious and then they will not trust you. It will be difficult to sell your ideas if they do not trust you. Another reason is that it will disfavor your clients if you do. They do not want to be represented misleadingly.


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